Seasiders settle their nerves with two late goals against Swaffham
PUBLISHED: 12:33 12 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:33 12 April 2016
This match should have been a regulation three points for the Seasiders, who sat in fourth spot, against a Swaffham Town side battling for Premier Division survival.
It was eventually, but not before the visitors were given a few frights in the second half.
The Seasiders’ nerves were finally settled when Callum Bennett converted a penalty and Kyron Andrews, 18, scored his first senior goal.
With the top-seven sides all winning, it was status quo at the head of the table but for Swaffham, it was another blow with Fakenham winning at Ipswich Wanderers to close to within two points of safety.
There was certainly an urgency in the home side’s play, having been heavily beaten at Godmanchester in midweek and it proved to be a busy opening 45 minutes with Felixstowe’s Josh Kerridge scoring at each end inside the opening 11 minutes, while Rhys Barber conceded a penalty.
Felixstowe looked to be settling into their stride playing up the slope, when a long clearance found its way to Alex Vincent who crossed and saw Kerridge head powerfully past his own goalkeeper with just nine minutes on the clock.
The hosts’ lead lasted barely two minutes as Swaffham’s Robson Pack picked up a yellow card for a heavy challenge on Clarke and Kerridge, this time with intent, headed Bennett’s free kick home at the far post.
Having got back on terms quickly, the Seasiders were ahead four minutes later when Chris Williams was in the right spot to turn Bennett’s low cross past Mayes in the home goal.
Mayes produced some heroics to keep the visitors out, pulling off fine saves to deny both Jordy Matthews and then Armani Schaar.
On the half hour, Swaffham broke out and Vincent won his side a penalty, getting up to tuck it away and send the sides in level at half-time.
Swaffham’s high work rate in the opening 20 minutes of the second period kept them well in the game and Vincent was at the heart of most of the good things that came from the hosts.
However, the Seasiders were the sharper side and in Matthews had a tireless runner willing to chase lost causes. From one such chase Felixstowe regained the lead.
Mayes looked about to gain control of a loose ball when Matthews was suddenly on him, the ‘keeper upending the Felixstowe player and referee Dean Appleby pointing to the penalty spot.
Swaffham: Mayes, Pack (Parkinson 82), Platten, Miller, J. Thompson, Reed, Harris (Robinson 68), M. Thompson, L. Thompson (Duarte 24), Vincent, Jackson. Subs: Bloodworth, Redhead Unused
Felixstowe: Crump, Bennett, Clarke, Wiggins, Barber, Kerridge (Field 58), Williams (Andrews 68), Driver, Schaar (Smy 67), Matthews, Powell. Sub A. Crump Unused
Referee: Dean Appleby
Bennett made it 3-2 and the goal ended the home side’s resistance with Vincent visibly tiring.
With a couple of minutes left, centre back James Thompson got in a mix up with his keeper, hitting the ball into Kyron Andrews’ path and the lively youngster passed the ball into an empty net.